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Deena Yellin Fuksbrumer
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Israel as lighthouse nation

Local | WorldPublished: 22 November 2013

Asserting that a “bad deal will have implications for years to come,” Israeli cabinet member Naftali Bennett called for tougher international sanctions on Iran.

Mr. Bennett, who is in the United States to lobby congressional leaders against an impending agreement on Iran’s nuclear energy program — and who spent part of his childhood in Teaneck — addressed a crowd Tuesday night at an event hosted by American Friends of Yeshivot Bnei Akiva at the Edmond J. Safra Synagogue on Manhattan’s Upper East Side.

In a wide-ranging talk punctuated by bursts of applause, Mr. Bennett, 41, touched on negotiations with Iran, the Arab spring, Israel’s mission to the world, and the challenges facing the Jewish people.


Boo!!! It’s Jewish Book Month

The vampire and the Jew

Cover Story Published: 01 November 2013
Helen Maryles Shankman’s new novel takes on the Holocaust

Is there redemption for people who commit horrific crimes?

Would you give immortal life to a loved one if it meant taking away his or her soul?

Can a vampire follow his baser instincts and still live a principled existence?

Such dilemmas twist ethicists’ brains.

Yet readers of “The Color of Light” may find themselves pondering these and other moral puzzles long after they’ve finished the haunting new novel by award-winning short-story writer Helen Maryles Shankman.


The kabbalist’s court

Passaic novelist’s rich imagination unleashed on Jerusalem’s Old City

LocalPublished: 22 September 2013

To immerse yourself “In The Courtyard of the Kabbalist,” the latest novel by Ruchama King Feuerman of Passaic, is to be drawn into a richly woven tale of self discovery, romance, and culture clash against the backdrop of Jerusalem.

It was also created in part using an understanding of character gained in her own hometown.

In Feuerman’s novel, her second, that Old City courtyard is a gathering spot for the lost souls and misfits who linger there, outside the home of a Jerusalem mystic, yearning to receive his guidance and blessings.


TABC wins wrestling invitational

LocalPublished: 22 February 2013

Torah Academy of Bergen County took first place at the 18th annual Henry Wittenberg Wrestling Invitational, marking a historic first for the Teaneck school.

“It’s a huge accomplishment that TABC stepped up and finally won first place,” said TABC wrestling coach Yoni Ellman, who witnessed his team’s rise from a bottom challenger at Wittenberg to top contender during his 12-year tenure.

“It took lots of training and practicing on the mat but it all paid off,” he said.


Supporting Shabbat; supporting the community

Tomchei Shabbos delivers food and other essential for the holidays

LocalPublished: 22 February 2013

He may live amid the swanky homes and luxury cars of affluent Bergen County, but Steve Gutlove has firsthand knowledge of the financial troubles that can be hidden within the picture-perfect façade.

As a coordinator of deliveries for Tomchei Shabbos of Bergen County, Gutlove encounters sad stories every week: The once-comfortable families now struggling to stay afloat after one or both parents lost their jobs or suffered an illness; the elderly and disabled who require full-time care; the refugees from Russia and other countries who couldn’t hold onto a job.

The recession has only made things more challenging for all of them.


Finding a Righteous Gentile

Local writer takes up cause of German who helped save her family during the Shoah

Local | WorldPublished: 15 February 2013

When Teaneck author Helen Maryles Shankman dug into her family history, she hoped to unearth stories about her ancestors’ experiences during the Holocaust. But the award–winning author never anticipated that she would discover a Righteous Gentile.

Now Shankman is campaigning for an 82-year-old German to be conferred with the status of Righteous Gentile by Yad Vashem in Jerusalem.

Shankman found the unlikely hero, Dieter Schlueter, because of her blog, where she chronicles the experience of researching her family’s history and their life during the Shoah in a Polish village called Wlodawa. Schlueter, who lives in Ludwigshafen, Germany, discovered her blog last June and sent her an email. Thus began their lively exchanges, as he told stories about what had happened years ago.

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Renovated mikvah opens in Teaneck

LocalPublished: 09 November 2012

With its marble countertops, elegantly tiled floors, stylish chandeliers, and 18 preparation rooms, the Teaneck Mikvah clearly is not your grandmother’s ritual bath.

It seems more like a spa, where women can come to be pampered.

It wasn’t always this good. The mikvah’s building on Windsor Road used to be drab, but the community put up a new building and furnished it with more updated amenities.

The Teaneck Mikvah Association will mark its renovation project at its third annual fundraising event on Nov. 19 at Congregation Keter Torah, which will feature entertainment by the violinist Sarah Charness. A versatile performer, Charness plays a range of music from classical to pop and electronic, and has appeared at venues around the world, including at Madison Square Garden, Radio City Music Hall, and the Chicago Theater.

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Bball basics

Coach Bobby Kaplan’s book is about basketball and values

generalPublished: 19 October 2012

After coaching more than 1,200 games in 40 years, winning eight championships, and being named “Coach of the Year” by the Yeshiva League, Bobby Kaplan could well be called the king of the hardwood floor.

But he admits that when he was a high school freshman, he didn’t make his school basketball team. “The coach told me I was too short to make the cut,” said Kaplan, who is slight and stands at about five-foot-six. “I came home that day crying.”

The rejection armed him with some life lessons that helped him rise to prominence on the court.

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Kindest cuts for the Kiddush

ArtsPublished: 28 September 2012

You might say that Dena Levie is a cut above the rest: The Teaneck-based artist has created paper cuts for Michael Douglas, Bette Midler, Steven Spielberg, and Matisyahu.

Now, Levie has created a design depicting the Friday night Kiddush (blessing over the wine) that will be displayed at the Jewish Children’s Museum in Crown Heights, Brooklyn.

The 40something mother of four said she was thrilled when museum officials, who found her on the web, commissioned the design last February.

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Shopping modestly in Teaneck

Local woman designs stylish but not revealing outfits

LocalPublished: 27 July 2012

Who says you have to show a lot of skin just to look stylish?

Not Etty Cymet Sadek, that’s for sure.

The Teaneck mother became frustrated after years of shopping with her fashion-savvy daughters. She found the experience of searching for modest clothing amid the racks of skimpy dresses in department stores to be a Herculean task. Realizing that the answer could not be found in a mall, she opted to take matters into her own hands.

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